There’s nothing I love more than living the #JetSetLife. Okay, maybe it’s not quite the #JetSetLife when you can only afford economy seating, but I’m working my way up to First Class.
I am so fortunate my job allows me to travel – and most recently I got to visit picturesque and pizazzy Portland, ME. Don’t let this small city fool you – what it lacks in size, it makes up for in history and character. There is so much to do here, that it was hard for my boss and I to decide on where to spend our short time. If all that didn’t sell you, this town is mecca for foodies. There was not one unappetizing looking restaurant.
Our day started at Becky’s Diner on Commercial Street – a recommendation from my other boss, Becky (no relation to the owners, haha)! It had an inviting and charming exterior, and man did it not disappoint. This place was PACKED. We waited about 30 minutes for a table (granted it was Father’s Day), but it was so worth it. The staff was friendly, the portions were generous, and the food was phenomenal. I enjoyed an egg white omelette with feta and tomato, wheat toast, and breakfast potatoes.
When Meredith and I were good and stuffed, we somehow figured out how to waddle around the shops off Commercial Street. It’s definitely a must see if you’re into unique finds. You’ll find a bunch of quirky and cute boutiques, along with other specialty stores, and your standard souvenir shops.
Another great thing about Portland? Repeat after me:
BEER. BEER. BEER.
This city has more breweries than I could count. I wanted to try them all, but alas. Time would not permit. Which did we stop at? It was a no brainer…the Allagash Brewery! They make my favorite beer ever (Allagash White), and I couldn’t wait to see what goes into the production of it.
For the low low price of FREE, your tour includes many samples of the various beer they produce. I wish I had known that beforehand, because Meredith and I each purchased a flight (which was only $5…I love this place). So we were good and happy before the tour even began.
Our flight included their Hoppy Table Beer (exactly what it sounds like), Saison (a Farmhouse Ale Style Beer and another one of my favorites from them), Florette (hoppy and hibiscus-y), and Nancy – a brand spanking new release and a new favorite (a cherry sour beer. OMG).
The tour was informative, and took you inside and up close to the tanks and barrels. We even got to go up on the brew deck since it was a Sunday and they weren’t brewing. I was beyond impressed.
They have an adorable little outdoor area with picnic tables and hanging lights. There’s also a food truck on property so you can pair your delicious beer with some Maine fare.
We left Portland to visit Bangor and Augusta for a couple of days, but we came back on Tuesday night and spent the evening in the brand new Tru by Hilton Hotel. That was one of the best choices I’ve ever made in my entire life. This affordable line of Hilton Hotels was bright, inviting, sparkling clean, and conveniently located near the Portland International Jetport.
The lobby greeted us with a complimentary breakfast area themed like a market, little sound containing cubbies meant for phone calls, and a game area with Connect Four, Giant Jenga, and a Pool Table. They also had those hanging bubble chairs. I tried sitting in one for a few minutes and almost fell out. I regret nothing.
The rooms were modern, airy, and felt almost like an apartment – definitely not your standard stuffy hotel room. Wood tiles replaced the normal icky rugs you’d find in hotels. The bed was extra comfy. Bright yellows and blues filled the room. What was my favorite part? It’d have to be the soap and lotion dispensers in the bathroom. They dispensed ‘Not Soap Radio’ brand products. I used the hand and body wash and lotion that smelled like lemon and sugar and had to resist taking a bite out of my legs. That lotion also left me feeling smooth AF. I found their online store and I might buy 70 bottles of the stuff.
While there are a plethora of places to eat in Portland (and I’ve heard every single place is good), we instantly decided on a lovely Pan Mediterranean Restaurant called TIQA. While you’re probably thinking ‘what did you eat?’ the better question to ask would really be ‘what didn’t you eat?’ We were riding the #TreatYoSelf Train hardcore into food coma town.
TIQA had a very cool and modern vibe. It was a gorgeous night, so we ate out on the patio. This place is perfect for a work gathering, date night, or even a place to meet with friends. Their menu had a great selection, and the service was top notch.
Below are some pictures of our food and drink selections for the night, and don’t you try and eat your computer screen…that’s dangerous.
Before you know it, it was time to get back to reality (well, since this was a business trip, you could say normal reality). But not before I had one of these little babies on my flight home!
(Side note, I hear United is discontinuing them on some flights? Seriously?)
Thanks for reading, fellow traveler! I’m looking forward to taking you on my next trip – the 305, Miami!